Mancations Florida-Style

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Add to that the magnificent Everglades trails, the majestic islands full of wildlife and adventure, and you have a potent recipe for testosterone-fueled vacations.

Spending downtime with some male friends in south Florida, however, doesn’t mean you have to spend your vacation in a tent eating Vietnam War vintage C-rations. The place is full of first-class resorts and grand restaurants that also cater to the whims of men searching for adventure and fun.

pampered bonding time Men who come here to bond may find the Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key, about halfway down the Keys, perfect for a getaway. This 40-acre resort recently underwent a $35 million renovation and offers some of the best fishing in the region, impeccable accommodations, five swimming pools, a full-service spa and great amenities in a secluded seafront zone where life moves to the easy rhythm and pace for which the Keys are famous. This is the place to kick back in style.

According to Jennifer Dinan, marketing manager of the resort, “Hawks Cay is the ideal getaway spot for guys, whether they’re traveling as a group of buddies, or as a father bringing his sons, because they have access to such a wide variety of adventure opportunities right here at the resort, from world-class fishing to kayaking, parasailing and beyond. Everything’s at their fingertips.”

The fishing near Hawks Cay is well known among fishing aficionados as being among the best in the world, and guests will love that the resort has their catches prepared by a top-notch chef to individual specifications.

Men wishing to venture offshore will find the resort’s sailing school an adventure in itself. Hawks Cay offers sailors the opportunity to venture beyond the beach on sailing lessons that can run anywhere from two hours to a multi-day course that leads to certification as a bona fide Keys sailor. In addition, there’s kayaking and waterskiing.

Dinan says that most men visiting the resort find the snorkeling and scuba diving in the living coral reef a mere two miles from the sand to be unparalleled. “Our dolphin connection program gives swimmers the rare chance to romp among bottlenose dolphins and other creatures. It’s a marvelous experience. After everything’s been said and done, what can be better for a group of men than heading to the bar after a long day fishing to sample any of our extensive collection of rums and maybe even our rum-tasting lesson. Men love to pick up a cigar or maybe a mojito and head out to the fire pit to cap the evening telling fish stories.”

Rates at Hawks Cay start from $145, villas at $255 per night.

Key Largo, sandwiched between the watery wilderness of the Everglades National Park to the west and the fish-covered coral formations of North America’s only living coral barrier reef to the east, was made famous by the classic Bogart-Bacall movie of the same name.

Here, the views of Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico form a backdrop that stuns the senses, and men in search of active vacations will find the Key Largo Grande Resort & Beach Club to be almost tailor-made for the ideal getaway.

The Hilton-owned resort is a landmark in its own right and abuts the Everglades National Park and the John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary.

The resort’s Water Sports package (rates are from $199 per night dbl for a suite with a view of the Gulf of Mexico, to $239 for a sunset-view suite) is an action-filled adventure that includes extreme parasail flights at more than 600 ft., use of a wave runner, a tour of the Everglades, a snorkeling trip and use of a Hobie Cat, all from the convenience of deluxe accommodations.

call of the wild In the Florida Keys, vacationing men will discover a wonderland full of thrills, and anyone wanting a matchless look at the area should see the islands from the sea while kayaking offshore and for that pursuit, very few tour guides match Adventures in Florida, a small, highly successful company that despite its growth has managed to retain its trademark personal care for sportsmen visiting the Keys.

It specializes in small group travel and first-class service from expert, highly trained guides who know the area like the proverbial back of their hands.